By Karen Carlson
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is undergoing a transformation, and it’s not too late to get involved. The nearly 25,000-acre park has acquired more land and is adjacent to Anza Borrego State Park as well as other public lands and trails. The third and final public meeting was held on Nov. 12, but the public comment period is still open. Everyone with an interest in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is invited to send comments and ideas for the General Plan process to State Parks at
- The website has been updated with a Preferred Alternative Management Zone Map and Matrix, meeting flyers and agendas from past meetings. Download or view these documents for a preview of what was presented as possible updates to the park General Plan. These documents help you to better understand the process and where you may fit into it.
Your input is valuable. “We continue to welcome your questions, comments and concerns via e-mail at email@example.com,” State Parks staff says. A formal comment period for the Preliminary General Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Report will take place. This combined document should be available in the spring 2014. A last opportunity for comment on the General Plan/EIR will occur at the time of the State Parks and Recreation Commission meeting in the fall of 2014, so be thinking about what you’d like to see in the park’s update and send your comments. At the meeting the commission will vote on the General Plan.
An equestrian stakeholder group meeting was held June 25 in Ramona Community Center. Equestrians and three California parks staff participated in discussing issues of interest to equestrians. Information about the meeting is in the meeting agenda and notes, which can be found on the web page under Maps and Documents.
Among topics briefly discussed were: request that reroutes be in place before closing old alignments; correct information in Matrix; get revised Matrix posted on website within three weeks; what science was used to support hiking and prohibit equine and mountain biking use; existing equestrian trails in natural and cultural preserves are likely to remain, but re-routed around meadows or cultural resources; expansion of cultural and natural preserves; and equestrian input regarding Family Horse Camp.
From what I have seen, the equestrian recommendations are not being included at this time.
A mountain bike stakeholder group meeting was held on Aug. 13. Four mountain bikers and two California parks employees participated. I did not attend this meeting and am not a mountain biker, but input from all user groups is valuable to this process.
The Notice of Participation and Initial Study have been made available to agencies that California Department of Parks and Recreation determined may have an interest in commenting. Comments from the public are also welcome. The changes proposed will be further defined as progress on the draft plan continues.
The combined Preliminary General Plan/Draft EIR will be available for a 45-day public comment period, most likely in spring 2014. Check the web page for updated information often.
The current plan was adopted in 1986. The purpose of the plan update is to revise it to reflect changing conditions and issues such as the 2003 and 2007 fires that roared through the park and the additional state park lands that are adjacent to Cuyamaca park.
This is our state park. It is close to Ramona and available for all to enjoy. I hope you get involved in making it the best park we can.
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